March 25, 2020

NSBR addressing immediate community needs while planning for phased support.

Hi Friend,I hope this message finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy. During this unprecedented time, the New Schools for Baton Rouge team remains focused on the most vulnerable in our community and our role in supporting students and families. We believe that the impact of COVID-19 on education in Baton Rouge will be profound and lasting. That is why, in addition to our work on meeting immediate needs, our team is beginning to forecast long range areas of impact.

NSBR’s approach to the COVID-19 recovery effort will be phased over the coming months. This week, we shared NSBR’S commitment to providing immediate relief to school partners seeking to address challenges identified by their families. Some of these efforts include providing internet access, standing up feeding sites, and assisting with the transition to digital learning. We have established an area of our website devoted to sharing information during this crisis and continue to provide updates through our social media.

Thanks to our generous donors, NSBR is able to swiftly deploy resources to help fill gaps in our community. In addition to these early supports for schools, over the coming weeks NSBR will provide capacity building grants to high-impact community partners addressing the needs of families. These community grants allow us to partner with others serving on the front lines in order to increase their impact in helping strengthen our broader community.

Later phases of our response efforts will center on potential long-term education challenges. Early thinking suggests that one critical area of need will be maintaining a strong educator workforce. We will provide support through virtual hiring fairs to connect educators with opportunities, ensuring schools are staffed and ready to deliver high quality instruction when students return.

Another area of focus will be on ways to recover lost instructional time this summer. Now more than ever, summer learning programs will be a key strategy to addressing the needs of students. We are planning to invest resources through a set of summer school support grants.

Finally, this crisis has underscored the need for strong plans to address digital learning and ensure that instruction does not stop when students are unable to attend physical school buildings. We will be providing planning grants and resources to support the development of comprehensive plans to ensure we are better equipped to weather whatever challenge comes next.

Despite uncertainty, I have been proud of the way schools have stepped up to meet the needs of our community. From feeding programs, to finding new ways to deliver instruction, to lifting the spirits of frightened children, I never cease to be amazed by what we can accomplish together. Innovation is in our DNA, and we are tireless problem solvers. It is a privilege to work on behalf of students and families in Baton Rouge. Especially at times like this, we remain fully committed to our mission of ensuring an excellent education for every child in our city.

Stay well,Chris Meyer, CEO

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